In response to submissions made by the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Franchise Association, the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services is proposing changes to Regulation 581/00 to the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000 (the “Act”) to permit electronic delivery of disclosure documents. The Act currently allows for delivery of a disclosure document either personally or by registered mail.

Similar to Manitoba’s The Franchises Act, the proposed change would allow for a disclosure document to be delivered electronically to a prospective franchisee if the document: (i) is in a form that enables the recipient to view, store, retrieve and print the disclosure document; (ii) does not contain links to external documents or content; and (ii) contains an index for separate electronic files. The proposed amendment also provides that delivery would not be effective until the franchisor receives an electronic acknowledgement of receipt.

A copy of the proposed amendment can be found here:

http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=21482&language=en

Allowing for delivery of a disclosure document electronically would be a welcome change for both franchisors and franchisees and provide consistency with other jurisdictions which permit electronic delivery.

The proposed amendment will also permit delivery of a disclosure document by courier and for delivery of a notice of rescission to a franchisor by pre-paid courier.

Comments on the proposed amendments may be made until May 2, 2016.